Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to Have an “Enduring” Marriage

AN “ENDURING” MARRIAGE
Musings on the Eve of My Wedding Anniversary
By
VIKRAM KARVE

We – my wife and I – we got married on 30 May 1982.

Tomorrow – on 30 May 2016 – we complete 34 years of married life – and – we enter the 35th year of our marital life.

Ours was an arranged marriage.

There was no “love” involved.

We are certainly not a “made for each other” couple.

In fact – we were – and we still are – a terribly incompatible couple.

Many married couples describe their marriages with superlative adjectives.

I once heard a young couple describe their marriage as “awesome”.

Ours is certainly not an “awesome” marriage.

I have married only once – and – therefore – I do not have the extensive experience of many marriages – and – hence – I am not an “Authority” on the subject of “Marriage”.

I do not know whether our marriage is a “happy” marriage.

I am quite happy with my “Better Half”.

But – I do not know whether my “Better Half” is happy with me.

Maybe my wife prefers to continue living with me for “administrative convenience” – since I am quite efficient at managing various domestic matters.

Since our marriage has lasted for so long – it may be best to describe our marriage as a “Durable” Marriage – or – better still – you can call our marriage an “Enduring Marriage” – since we have “endured” each other for 34 years.

I am not going to give my wife a “gift” on the occasion of our 34th wedding anniversary – and – neither is my wife going to give me any “gift”.

It will be business as usual – my wife will go to work – and – I will attend to my “househusband” duties.

Since tomorrow – the 30th of May 2016 – is a Monday – my “Better Half” will be “fasting” – so – I may march down to the Sweet Shop and get her some permitted “fast food” like “Malai Barfi” or some “Chena Mithai”.

Since ours is a rather “prosaic” marriage – it is not mandatory for us to indulge in “niceties” like giving each other gifts – or – celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

We are not going to say “I love you” to each other.

A love marriage entails mutual obligation to make a show of “love” to each other – but – since ours is not a “love” marriage – we are not obligated to make a show of “love” to each other.

We do not indulge in “lovey-dovey” Public Displays of Affection (PDA).

By the way – I once knew a “PDA Couple” who just couldn’t get their hands off each other.

The “passionate” manner in which they would express their love to each other – even in full public view – was most embarrassing for “prudes” like us.

A few years later – I was aghast to learn the “lovey-dovey” marriage of the “PDA Couple” had ended in a bitter divorce.

(I have mentioned the story of the “PDA Couple” in my blog post on “Public Display of Affection” – and – I shall post the story once more in my blog for your perusal)

Coming back to our marriage – we – my wife and I – we do not say “I Love You” at the end of phone conversations

We just “tolerate” each other – and – we continue to co-exist together.

It is like a dog and a cat living together under one roof – they learn to “endure” each other.

If you have lived in a boarding school dormitory, a college hostel or on a Navy Ship – it is easy – since you are accustomed to getting used to whoever is assigned as your room-mate or cabin-mate.

(In “love marriage” you choose your “life mate” – but – in “arranged marriage” you have no such choice – and – have to adjust with whoever is “assigned” to you).

Of course – I have seen some “arranged marriage” couples who later “fall in love” with each other – and – become “soul-mates” – but sadly – we don’t happen to be in that category.

However – 34 years of “much married” relationship has made us quite comfortable with each other – and – yes – we can be totally ourselves with each other without any “masks”.

With my “Better Half” – I can be myself – and – vice versa.

So – we will just wish each other “Happy Wedding Anniversary” – and we will “Bash on Regardless”.


INCOMPATIBLE COUPLE

A few days before our marriage – in mid-May 1982 – I took my “fiancée” on a bike to IAT Pune to personally invite my Navy friends for our wedding on the 30th of May 1982.

After delivering our wedding invitation cards – we were treated to lunch at the home of one of my closest friends who had also been my shipmate.

He had got married a few months earlier – and – since I was a frequent visitor to their home for food and drink – his wife knew me quite closely – and – she was well aware of my wild hard-drinking ways and love for non-vegetarian food – especially sea-food.

Accordingly – she had cooked chicken and fish dishes – and – she had not bothered to make a vegetarian dish.

So – she was astonished when she learnt that my “fiancée” was a “pure vegetarian”.  

She hurriedly cooked a pure vegetarian dish – and – while she and my “fiancée” were in the kitchen – she observed my “would-be-wife” closely. 

Afterwards – she commented to her husband that our marriage would not last for even 10 days.

My friend landed up on our 10th wedding anniversary with a bottle of champagne – and – his wife had to eat her words.

But – what the lady had said did have a ring of truth in it.

My wife and I am indeed an incongruous couple – we are poles apart in all aspects.

We have huge differences of opinion on almost all matters – we fight a lot – we criticize each other – we shout at each other – we never hide our feelings especially when we don’t like something – and – we call a spade a spade.

Like I told you – we do not indulge in lovey-dovey Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

We do not say “I Love You” when we end phone conversations.

We don’t indulge in “niceties” like giving each other gifts or celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

Ours may be a rather volatile and “loveless” relationship.

But – there is nothing “fake” about our relationship.

Maybe – since we are not in “love” with each other – we do not have to “fake” emotional feelings towards each other.

So – we do not waste our emotional and material resources trying to “please” each other.

We try to live one day at a time.

Or – to put it another way – we make our marriage “survive” one day at a time.

In these modern times when even passionate “love marriages” break up and end in divorce – why is it – that our rather prosaic marriage has stood the test of time…?

I really don’t know the reason why.

Maybe – a “No Expectations – No Disappointments” relationship results in a durable marriage. 


PS:

I once heard a “marriage counselor” advise a “clingy couple” that they must give each other “space” in their relationship.

Ha Ha Ha – in our marriage – there is plenty of “space” – a truly “spacious” relationship…!!! LOL J
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